10 April 2017 / Club News

Discipline costs First XV in derby game

Discipline cost Llantwit as Cowbridge retained the bragging rights in this enthralling derby game at the Athletic Ground as they completed the league double with a 21-12 win. On a warm and sunny spring day with an excellent playing surface the scene was perfectly set for thips encounter which has been played out regularly now for over 127yrs.

Cowbridge were first on the scoreboard as their kicker slotted over a penalty, a sight that sadly for the Llantonians they were to witness far too often for the rest of the afternoon. The next score though was the highlight of the game as a turnover from Gareth Watts gave Llantwit good ball and they set about releasing their three quarters as they made their way over the half way line. Man of the Match for the second time in a week Luke Dawes then came into the line at pace and on seeing some space rounded the covering defence and sprinted away to score an excellent individual try in the corner. The resulting conversion unfortunately missed by outside half Josh Austin. This was the end of the action in the first half as both teams reached a stale mate as they battled for territory and traded missed penalty kicks.
The second half resumed at 3-5 and was enthralling for the first quarter as both teams continued in the same vain as the first half throwing everything at each other with Llantwit coming closest to breaking away with a try as open-side flanker Dan Bawden who had a great all round game, found himself in acres of space only for his supporting backs to fumble a chance to go over for another try.
The action quickly then returned to the Llantwit end as Cowbridge came close to themselves from rumbling over from a driving line-out only to be denied by some desperate defending. Llantwit were then reduced to fourteen as second row Shaun Shea was shown a yellow card for an infringement in the tackle area. A decision that the large travelling and of course not biased supporters thought was a harsh decision. The resulting penalty again slotted over by the home side. The Llantwit team then did remarkably well as Cowbridge clearly scenting a win in the offering threw everything at the Llantwit defence, but the away team managed to muster up a great defence to keep the score to just one further kick from Cowbridge before they resumed with the full complement of players. 
The game was then poised for a nervous ending as neither side would budge in their determination to control the game but Llantwit were still increasingly giving away far too many penalties and this was to be the final judge in this enthralling match. Their kicker Ben Wright converting five penalties out of six attempts from great distances across the pitch to put the home side in a commanding position and round off a brilliant display in place kicking. Llantwit only able to reply with a missed penalty of their own in the same period. 
Clearly the Cowbridge kicker Wright is a talented sportsman as he has also played first class cricket for Glamorgan, with more than one Llantonian wishing he had stuck with hitting with the willow rather than the leather. Discipline and intelligent play then was the difference between the teams in the end as Llantwit couldn't get to grips with the referees interpretation of the tackle areas and their opponents did, with their flanker and captain ruling the roost.
Llantwit's only satisfaction coming at the death as they finished strongly in gaining some territory and a quickly taken penalty saw some lovely running and handling which allowed Dawes to race over for the second time for a great try, converted by Austin. It was though to be merely consultation as the final whistle greeted the conversion.

Llantwit would like to thank their large number of travelling supporters who they wished could have had more to cheer about. They would also like to thank Cowbridge for both the splendid pre and post match receptions which were delicious and they look forward to renewing this historic fixture again next season.

This however may not be the end to the rivalry for this season as both Cowbridge and  Llantwit have done well in reaching the semi finals of the Welsh Rugby Union East District Cup; and the luck of the draw has kept them apart with Cowbridge taking on Dinas Powis and Llantwit facing Taffs Well. Both games will be played simultaneously at the neutral ground of Llandaff North RFC in Cardiff on Wednesday 19 April, kick off at 6:30pm. 
Firstly though Llantwit need to complete their last league fixture as they welcome Cardiff Saracens to the Recreation Ground on Saturday kick off at 2:30pm. 

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